Immigration is a complex issue with overlapping and intersecting concerns encompassing basic human rights, injustice, persecution, life-threatening insecurities, simple cultural misunderstandings and more. Immigration does not happen in large numbers when things are going well in a native country. It is a sign of need and often a collective cry for help. We do not accept the politicization of this issue in our country and are working to change this through information, education and social action. We also look at the etiologies of emigration so that root causes can be addressed, where possible, and people can enjoy the security they deserve wherever they choose to live.
As Marists, we take a global view...
We are deeply focused on the causes of migration and the protection of human dignity for immigrants here in the U.S..
From our beginnings in America over 150 years ago, our ministries with non-English speaking immigrants have continued to the present day. Today, American Marists are engaged in Hispanic ministries in six of our U.S. communities.
Our work in St. Francis/St. Blaise parish in Brooklyn had been with Haitian people, Caribbean peoples, and Hispanics from 1984 through June 2016. We arrived at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in 1986 and have been ministering to Filipinos and Hispanics, and also Haitians in the community there in Tampa. We have been ministering on the US border with Mexico in the Brownsville Diocese since 1987. Our ministry with the dynamic Hispanic congregation at Immaculate Conception Parish in Revere, MA began in 2005, following a request for help from Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
In 2007, the Marists in Atlanta invited a large community of Hispanic Catholics, primarily from Guatemala, to join the Marist-run Our Lady of the Assumption parish where a ministry was established in their native language and culture.
Marist School in Atlanta has opened a Hispanic Center for GED students made possible by President Obama's Dream Act. The facility graduated its first class on December 19, 2013, and the offerings have expanded to include more than 600 young adult Hispanics who attend in the evening.
The school also hosted a large meeting of young Hispanic leaders in the local faith communities of Atlanta to consult about offering the school’s facilities to host formation programs for young adult Hispanics.
Syrian Refugee Crisis
We view the Syrian refugee problem as a situation needing deep human understanding and mercy.
Please join us as we insist that America, a nation of immigrants, look compassionately on the plight of all asylum seekers regardless of their places of origin.
Watch "A Difficult Journey for Migrant Youths"(Catholic News Service)
Providing Safe Passage for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children
Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, TX testified on the influx of unaccompanied migrant children to the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America. The hearing focused on the humanitarian crisis being created and the response from federal officials. Witnesses included a representative with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Homeland Security Department's border patrol deputy chief, and witnesses who have experience the effects of the surge.
We share with you this prayer to welcome immigrants.
Prayer for Our Immigrant
Sisters and Brothers
(Source: Pax Christi)
Blessed are You, Lord Jesus Christ.
You crossed every border
between Divinity and humanity
to make your home with us.
Help us to welcome you in newcomers,
migrants and refugees.
Blessed are You, God of all nations.
You bless our land richly
with goods of creation
and with people made in your image.
Help us to be good stewards and peacemakers,
who live as your children.
Blessed are You, Holy Spirit.
You work in the hearts of all
to bring about harmony and goodwill.
Strengthen us to welcome those
from other lands, cultures, religions,
that we may live in human solidarity
and in hope.
God of all people, grant us vision
to see your presence in our midst,
especially in our immigrant sisters and brothers.
Give us courage to open the door to our neighbors
and grace to build a society of justice.
Tell House Congressional Leaders Not to Bring
H.R. 4731 to a Vote!
of the Gospel
On Jan. 13, 2016,
Looking at Root Causes: Why do Immigrants Come to the U.S.?
"We must never forget that many immigrants come to this country in desperate circumstances.
Some have fled political persecution, war, and economic devastation...
Others have wagered on finding a better life in this country in the face of economic desperation at home.
As Pope John Paul II has noted, 'In many regions of the world today people live in tragic situations of instability and uncertainty. It does not come as a surprise that in such contexts the poor and the destitute make plans to escape, to seek a new land that can offer them bread, dignity and peace. This is the migration of the desperate. . .'"
U.S. Catholic Bishops, Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, Nov. 15, 2000
All Things Catholic: Immigration reform becomes a Catholic ‘pro-life’ cause (Boston Globe - April 5, 2014)
Fe Y Vida
Justice for Immigrants
"So we as Marists
Fr. Ted Keating, SM